• 3 Reasons to Adopt Social Collaboration Tools

    I’ll admit it. I think I have been avoiding the usage of collaboration tools for a number of years now. No matter how hard my boss has pushed it, I just couldn’t get myself to fully adopt the tools he was presenting. I would test it out for a few weeks and then would stop because I wasn’t recognizing the true value.  You may have been in the same boat as me. I just kept using the excuse, “I have my email to manage that.” After recently realizing that comments like this make me feel old and stuck in my ways, I started giving it more thought, and decided to jump on the bandwagon to give it a shot.

    And when I did, something great happened. I was ramping a new client implementation and started to see the collaboration happening between an inside rep and a field rep. They were able to share information on leads, appointments that were scheduled, and best of all, they were able to converse in one place about how the appointments were going and to close the feedback loop right in front of my eyes. It was like every inside sales manager’s dream. They were both adopting it, and they were talking far better than they ever had over email.

    Like anything you roll out to your sales organization, the issue of adoption always presents itself. The key is Getting Employees To Actually Use Social Collaboration Tools, as Michael Corkery covers in his article.  Before addressing any adoption issues though, it’s important to evaluate why it’s important to investigate social collaboration for your sales organization. Here are my top three reasons as to why you should:

    1. Increase productivity. I don’t know about you, but whenever I have to search my email for a specific document from a client, it can take forever. This goes for every member of the team, whatever their role may be. By using a social collaboration tool, everyone can share documents in one place and easily search the information. Instead of digging through their email box all day, reps can focus on what they are best at – making dials and having live conversations.
    2. Build rapport between inside and outside sales reps. With all the traveling outside sales reps do, sometimes it can be tough to answer emails when on the road. Sometimes if their inside sales rep has a question for them, it can take days to receive a response via email. The benefit of a social collaboration tool is that it can be accessed easily from anywhere from smart phones. You may argue that they can check email on their smartphones, too. However, your inbox is bogged down by emails from all sources, making it tough to determine what is relevant and what isn’t, especially when trying to catch the next flight. By using one collaboration tool, there is a much more consistent back-and-forth between the two teams. Inside sales reps can post a question or objection that came up from a prospect to the feed, and other parties can respond quickly and easily.
    3. Encourage team camaraderie and company culture. Another great aspect of social collaboration tools is that you can make it fun. Last month my boss kicked off the summer with a “koozy contest” and created a group for it. He purchased koozies with our company logo on it, and everyone had to take photos during the 4th of July holiday week and post them to the feed. It was fun for everyone and further encouraged and promoted our company’s positive culture. From a team camaraderie standpoint, you can develop all types of contests within the tool. For instance, you could pair up inside and outside reps and create a contest around which team reaches the highest percentage of their goal. A little competition that can be viewed by all will be sure to drive increased productivity and results.

    I look forward to seeing what social collaboration has in store for our organization as we continue to develop new tips and tricks to ensure we are getting the most value from it. What about you? Have you fallen victim to hesitating when adopting social collaboration tools at your company? Or, do you hold the opposite view and are having a hard time understanding why anyone would not want to adopt tools like these?

    Laney Pilpel is Manager, Client Operations AG Salesworks.  To view all company blogs go toAG Salesworks blog site.

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